Developers begin building open source hevc encoder

A number of developers have started building an open source hevc encoder under the project name Kvazaar on GitHub. Many features of the advanced video compression method are still missing.

Hevc is the successor to the widely used h264 codec and is used, among other things, to compress 4k video streams. On average, hevc could compress files and streams 50 percent better than h264. Although hevc is still little used, it is expected that the codec will make a rapid advance in the coming years.

In addition to commercially available HEvc encoders and decoders, a project has now started on GitHub to develop an open source HEvc encoder implementation. The encoder, which is to be called Kvazaar, must be licensed by GNU GPLv2. Work is also underway on x86 and x64 Windows versions of the encoder, with Linux implementations also becoming available.

Many parts of the hevc specification are not yet or only partially incorporated in the Kvazaar encoder. A lot of optimizations are also needed. It is not yet clear when the encoder will be mature enough to be widely used.